Takana Zion - Kakilambe (Rkf Production)
'Kakilambe' (the name of a traditional dance in Mali and Guinea, but the term is also used to refer to various African percussion rhythms) is both Takana Zion's most African and eclectic (rock, pop, dance, electro.
Cocoa Tea - In A Di Red (Roaring Lion Records/VPal)
Cocoa Tea is just about always a guarantee for a good album, but with 'In A Di Red' he really surpassed himself.
Kiki Gyan - 24 Hours In A Disco 1978 - 82 (Soundway Records)
Just when you thought you'd heard it all, we're happy to serve you some Ghanaian disco! The late Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kofi Kwarko 'Kiki' Gyan ( 2004) was a member of Ghanaian super formation Osibisa before disappearing into London's nightlife circuit as a session musician.
Habib Koite & Eric Bibb - Brothers In Bamako (Contre Jour)
'Brothers In Bamako' is all about the letter combination BIB.
Wahwahsda - Radio Rum (Kwantakosta/Self-published)
With 'Radio Rum' Antwerp based band Wahwahsda delivers an excellent successor for their debut effort 'Shiva Regal'.
Singer Jah - Warrior Of Jah Army (Reggaeland Records)
No two Reggaeland albums are the same.
Various Artists - Reggae Golden Jubilee: Origins Of Jamaican Music (VP Records)
August 6th, the official date of the anniversary of Jamaica's independence is already several months behind us, but the Jamaicans will continue to celebrate their independence throughout the rest of the year.
Pentateuch - The Genesis (Boot Camp Records)
Just before year end, promising newcomer band Pentateuch still signs for one of the better albums of this year.
Soldiers Of Jah Army - Strength To Survive (Greensleeves/VP Records/ATO Records)
We already announced 'Strength To Survive', the new album by Soldiers Of Jah Army, at the time of the release of their 'Mentality' EP, several months ago.
Microguagua - Al Borde De La Ruta + Amparo Sanchez - Alma De Cantaora (Kasba Music)
It is almost a cliché, but the different members of Microguagua also got to know each other busking in the streets of the Catalan capital Barcelona.
Sotho Sounds - Junk Funk (Riverboat Records/World Music Network)
African back-to-basics bands fiddling around with self-made instruments are seemingly becoming a trend.
Anthony Que - No Fear No Man (Reggaeland Records)
'Meditation Time', Anthony Que's previous effort from earlier this year, didn't impress yours truly much, so we were waiting on the arrival of 'No Fear No Man' with some anticipation and we're happy to declare our Catalan friends from Reggaeland Records in Barcelona did manage to strike the right notes with Que.
Marcia Griffiths - Marcia Griffiths And Friends (VP Records)
With this double compilation album full of duets by the grande dame of Jamaican music, Marcia Griffiths, Donovan Germain has somewhat taken the easy road, but if you have this kind of material at your disposal, you better use it.
Richie Spice - Soothing Sounds (Tad's Record)
Following in the footsteps of Tarrus Riley and, of course, Clinton Fearon, the godfather of acoustic reggae, Richie Spice has now also given a few of his songs an acoustic twist ('Agony', a disco song with a Michael Jackson vibe being the only exception on 'Soothing Sounds').
Malick Pathé Sow & Bao Sissoko - Aduna (Muziekpublique)
'Aduna' ("the world") is first and foremost a musical encounter between Senegalese Fula musician Malick Pathé Sow and his Mandingo compatriot Bao Sissoko.
Klezmofobia - Kartushnik (Self-published)
'Kartushnik' ("high roller" or "one who gambles for serious stakes" in Yiddish) is the third Studio album by Klezmofobia, a Danish band dedicated to innovating the klezmer genre (the jazzy 'Yiddish Mame', the Balkan-influenced 'Schlomo Ben Avram', the surf rock of 'Verdamte Oy Vei'.
Lokkhi Terra - Che Guava's Rickshaw Diaries (Funkiwala Records)
'Che Guava's Rickshaw Diaries', the second album by London collective Lokkhi Terra, is one of the best and most original releases we heard this year.
Red Baraat - Chaal Baby (JARO Medien)
Dhol-'n-brass, that's how Sunny Jain, founder of Red Baraat, describes the unique sound of his band.
Ashimba - Wakukaya (Grandpop Records/Udumood Music)
Yours truly was quite impressed by 'Wakukaya' (roughly translated "my people" in Swahili), an album resulting from the cooperation of Tanzanian singer-songwriter Ashimba with a number of Finnish musicians led by Teho Majamäki, resulting in a fresh afro-pop sound with songs in which Ashimba, alternating between Nyamwezi, Swahili and Sukuma, broaches a variety of topics like daily life, the beauty of nature and the importance of certain traditional values in Tanzania.
Barry Brown - Right Now (Greensleeves/VP Records)
The Greensleeves label has finally decided to re-release another gem from its archives.